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Searching Standard: Blacephalon / Victini V Deck

Hello and welcome to another episode of Searching Standard. This week we'll be taking a look at a deck featuring Blacephalon UNB 32 that took first place at a Japanese tournament a little bit ago. Let's get started.

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Thanks to Blacephalon UNB 32's Fireball Circus attack, you'll have the ability to deal as much damage as needed to Knock Out any Pokemon, regardless of the amount of HP it has. The only limiting factor will be the amount of Fire Energy 2 you have in your hand. We'll see if there are ways in this deck that you can use to get additional copies of Fire Energy 2 into your hand (hint: there are).

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By using Heatran-GX UNM 25's Burning Road Ability, you'll be able to power Heatran-GX UNM 25 very quickly, making it an excellent secondary attacker. You only need to move three Energy in order to use the Steaming Stomp attack, which will deal 130 damage. However, if you haven't used your GX-attack for the game, you could move more in order to use the Hot Burn GX attack as a way to Knock Out an opponent's Pokemon.

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By using Victini V SSH 25's Spreading Flames attack, you'll be able to power up a Pokemon or two at the expense of two Prize cards. Alternatively, you can try to move Victini V SSH 25 back to your Bench before it gets Knocked Out, which is a much better option to choose if you're able to.

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Both Absol TEU 88 and Oricorio-GX CEC 95 are Bench warmers that you'll never be able to attack with. However, they each have an Ability that you can use to your advantage in certain circumstances. Absol TEU 88's Dark Ambition Ability makes it more difficult for an opponent to Retreat their Basic Pokemon. Oricorio-GX CEC 95's Dance of Tribute Ability takes some of the sting out of having one of your Pokemon Knocked Out. With Hoopa UNM 140, both of its attacks can be relevant. Evil Admonition deals additional damage when your opponent has a team of Pokemon with Abilities. Mind Shock can hit for 80 damage that's not reduced by Resistance (but it's also not doubled by Weakness either).

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Jirachi TEU 99 has been a Standard staple in many decks for many months now. By attaching an Escape Board UPR 122 to it, you can use the Stellar Wish Ability to find a Trainer card and then Retreat for free, allowing one of your attackers to become your Active Pokemon.

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Both Energy Retrieval SSH 160 and Fire Crystal UNB 173 allow you to put Fire Energy 2 cards from your discard pile into your hand. Since so many of your attacks deal damage based on the amount of Fire Energy 2 you discard, this helps you keep enough Energy in your hand to keep using those attacks again and again.

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Custom Catcher LOT 171 allows you the ability to switch your opponent's Active Pokemon with one from their Bench. Doing so requires you to play two copies of Custom Catcher LOT 171 at once. There are three copies of Custom Catcher LOT 171 in this deck so that you'll be able to encounter the necessary two copies quicker than you would if there were only two copies in the deck. Since there's no way to get Item cards back from your discard pile, once you've used a pair of Custom Catcher LOT 171's, you can play the final copy to draw cards once you encounter it.

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Quick Ball SSH 179 can be played as a way for you to find the Pokemon you need when you need it. Every Pokemon in this deck is a Basic Pokemon, so you can use Quick Ball SSH 179 to find any of them. The single copy of Pokemon Communication TEU 152 is included in the deck as a way to find one of your attackers in the event you only draw one of your supporting Pokemon in your opening hand.

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Both Acro Bike CES 123 and Fiery Flint DRM 60 help you filter through your deck for specific cards, making your future draw steps more likely to draw a card you'll need. While Acro Bike CES 123 only gives you the best card from the top two cards of your deck, Fiery Flint DRM 60 allows you to search through your deck for four Fire Energy 2 cards to put into your hand.

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By playing Switch SSH 183, you'll be able to send a Pokemon that's about to be Knocked Out back to your Bench, and avoid allowing your opponent of drawing any of their Prize cards. You can also bring up a powered up attacker, which can allow you to get a quick Knock Out.

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Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189 allows you to get a Supporter that's not Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189 from your discard pile and put it back into your hand to use again. It also allows you the potential to draw three cards, which you'll probably want to do the majority of the time. Now, since there's only one other Supporter in the deck, it will obviously be your choice to return to use a second time.

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Besides Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189, Welder UNB 189 is the only other Supporter in this deck. Welder UNB 189 has been one of the best Supporters in Standard for a while, offering both Energy ramping as well as additional card drawing.

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Both of the Stadiums in this deck offer you a way to find extra Fire Energy 2 that you can use to power up your devastating attacks, or a way to discard any extra Fire Energy 2 you might have as a means of drawing additional cards. While both are extremely worthwhile for this deck, neither is necessary for you to achieve a victory, so enjoy them while you can before your opponent removes them from play.

Wrapping Up

Fire Type Decks have been top tier decks for a while, and they'll likely remain just as powerful until rotation happens. This deck has proven itself in Japan, but can it prove it has what it takes to win a tournament here in America?

What do you think of this deck? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com. Also, check out my new column, Flash Forward, where we take a look at decks using cards from upcoming releases. And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks in the Pokemon TCG. I'll see you then! 

- Mike Likes
 


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